How to Use Avocado Oil for Acne Problems
Using avocado oil, both as a skin moisturizer and having it in your diet on a regular basis, can make a very positive difference to the appearance of your skin.
It can also help with acne problems and other skin issues like enlarged pores and blackheads.
Avocado oil can be beneficial to acne sufferers in 3 different ways.
First nutritionally, secondly as a nightly moisturizer, and thirdly as a topical treatment to prevent acne and diminish blackheads and enlarged pores.
Acne Prevention with Monounsaturated Fats
From a nutritional standpoint, the type of fats you regularly consume in your diet are often recognized as a contributing factor behind acne problems.
As detailed in the page on the best oil for healthy cooking, avocado oil is extremely high in beneficial monounsaturated fats like oleic acid.
At the same time, it is very low in polyunsaturated fats, such as linoleic acid, compared to most other cooking oils.
This is important if you’re an acne sufferer because polyunsaturated fats have recently been implicated in sebaceous gland inflammation which leads to acne outbreaks.
Specifically, the 5-LOX enzyme has been observed acting on the polyunsaturated fat arachidonic acid and turning it into inflammatory compounds known as leukotrienes.
Replacing polyunsaturated cooking oils, like corn, safflower, soybean and sunflower oil, with the much healthier avocado oil lowers your polyunsaturated fat intake and replaces it with healthier monounsaturated fats.
Additionally, by switching to it as your cooking oil and salad dressing, you are also receiving the many other avocado oil skin benefits.
These include high levels of vitamin E, antioxidant carotenoids and moisturizing plant sterols and lecithin. All of these nutrients help with improving your skin tone and preventing acne from ever occurring in the first place.
Avocado Oil as a Natural Moisturizer
The second way that avocado oil can help prevent acne problems and improve your skin tone in general is by using it as a nightly moisturizer.
Many people with outbreak prone skin would be understandably afraid of putting more oil on their face, believing that the skin’s oil is the cause of their acne. It’s not actually your natural sebum that is the problem though.
In most cases a pimple starts with an inflammation of the sebaceous gland. The nutritional properties of avocado oil are ideal for preventing this kind of inflammation, as well as making for a great moisturizer in general.
How to Use the Oil Cleaning Method with Avocado Oil
The third way to use avocado oil to help with clearing up acne and diminishing blackheads and enlarged pores is by using it as a topical treatment, applied directly to the face, in what is known as the oil cleaning method.
Once again, it’s very understandable that you might be fearful of applying an oil to your face if you have acne problems.
When it works though, the oil cleaning method helps quickly clear out blocked pores, reduces the causes of sebaceous gland inflammation and improves skin tone in general.
Everyone’s skin is different, so results can vary, but many people in acne forums online have reported very positive results with the oil cleaning method.
Here’s how to do it:
- Start by mixing together a small amount of cold pressed avocado oil, perhaps just a teaspoon, with a similar amount of castor oil in a bowl. I used this extra virgin and organic one.
- Castor oil is great for removing impurities from the skin. For very oily skin, you may want to use more castor oil, say one and a half teaspoons and only half a teaspoon of avocado oil. This is a cheap and effective brand.
- Conversely, for skin that is usually drier but still prone to acne outbreaks, you could use one and a half teaspoons of avocado oil and only half a teaspoon of castor oil.
- Gently massage the oil mixture into your skin with clean fingers and lie down and cover your face with a warm (but not too hot) face cloth for several minutes to help open pores (you can warm the face cloth up in the oven on a low heat or in the drier).
- Rinse the washcloth and gently wipe away any excess oil. If you have the time, repeat the process a few times for even better results.
- Finally, rinse your face in cold water to help close the pores.
There are a couple of alternative ways to get the heat to open your pores and clean your skin once you’ve massaged in the oil.
The first is to half fill the bathroom sink with steaming hot water, perhaps with a couple of drops of tea tree essential oil, which is also great for treating pimples.
Taking care to not let your face actually touch the water, cover your head and the sink with a large towel and let the steam get to work for a minute or two.
Some people like to simply massage in the oil and then let the steam of a hot shower help open their pores. This is probably not as effective as a covered bathroom sink, but it’s very simple to do regularly.
One way that I’ve had great results with personally is to use the oil cleaning method after a workout at gym. I then go straight into the steam room for ten to fifteen minutes.
Follow it up with a cool shower to close the pores on your face. If you go to a gym with a steam room, I’d really recommend trying this for reducing blackheads and enlarged pores.
Warnings and Treatment Times
A small warning to people using commercial retinol treatments for acne like Retin-A.
It would be recommended to patch test the oil on an inconspicuous spot before using it on your entire face. This is because some people have reported a stinging sensation when using it after Retin-A.
In fact, this is good advice if you’re using any other topical acne treatments, or just have sensitive skin in general.
This avocado oil cleaning method can be performed several times a week whenever you have the time.
Avocado oil can even help as a natural treatment for more serious skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis when used regularly.
Have you tried using avocado oil for acne or to reduce enlarged pores and blackheads?
I’d be interested to hear about your results in the comments if you’ve used it regularly in your diet, as a moisturizer or especially if you’ve tried the oil cleaning method using avocado oil.
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